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Deep sleeper WRs

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Lee Evans - BAL 9 votes

Sigmund Bloom - Evans once looked like one of the top 10 wide receivers in the league, and defenses still treated him like one of the best for most of his time in Buffalo. Now in Baltimore, he has the best WR partner he has ever played with in Anquan Boldin, and a QB who can actually overthrow him deep in Joe Flacco. Evans should easily put up his best numbers in years even though many fantasy owners have written him off.

David Dodds - He has always had skills to get deep, but Buffalo has struggled the last few years avoiding QB sacks to stretch the field with Evans' skills. With a change of scenery to a much better Baltimore team (and offensive line), Evans looks like he will be able to once again show his talent.

Will Grant - In early fantasy drafts when he was still a free agent, fantasy players were adding him to their rosters just in case he landed somewhere. Now that he's with the Ravens, his ADP is going to climb. Evans was caught between a rock and a hard place in Buffalo. He was a solid receiver with a revolving door of mediocre QBS and a questionable offense. His performance suffered accordingly. Now he's the #2 guy in Baltimore -- a team that won't throw for 4500 yards this season, but will still move the ball around. Anquan Boldin will be there to draw the primary defensive coverage, but Evans should still have plenty of opportunities to come his way.

Jeff Haseley - I was high on Evans before he was traded to Baltimore. He will be featured as the WR2 behind Anquan Boldin, which is a great spot for him. He should be able to reach 50-60 catches with 5 TDs. Evans is only 30 and he is more than capable of having another good season, especially on an offense that is can put points on the board.

Steve Holloway - Evans has a current ADP of WR 62 and 178 overall, yet he had never finished below WR 35 before last season. His recent trade to Baltimore is a perfect landing spot for both Evans and QB Joe Flacco. The Ravens have lacked a deep threat for several few years and Flacco has a live arm and throws an excellent deep pass. Evans will be starting for the Ravens and should be their third preferred target behind Boldin and Rice.

Bob Magaw - Evans was horribly miscast in BUF for years. While the outcome isn't likely to be on the scale of Randy Moss' rebirth in NE after languishing in OAK, he could be in line for his best season in a half decade (82-1,292-8 in 2006). Just 30 years old, he is about the same age Moss was when traded to the Pats and enjoyed a career resurgence. Joe Flacco is a polarizing QB for some, but he is a big, strong armed QB with skills that dovetail perfectly with what Evans does best. Flacco has thrown for a very respectable 10,000+ yards in his first three years, but has never enjoyed a deep threat the caliber of Evans. WR Anquan Boldin was never fast but has lost some explosiveness and former long time veteran receiving weapons Derrick Mason and Todd Heap are gone (rookie WR Torrey Smith doesn't look ready for prime time, and second year TEs Dickson and Pitta are very inexperienced). Expect to see Evans flying by DBs and racing towards the end zone early and often in 2011.

Jeff Pasquino - Baltimore finally got someone who can take the top off of a defense, which has been the biggest knock on their passing game for years. Joe Flacco has a very big arm but cannot show it off because no one has had the speed to get deep for him, but now that Derrick Mason is a Jet and Anquan Boldin can be used more as a short yardage guy Evans gets to be the deep guy. Evans is available later in drafts thanks to his reputation in past years in Buffalo as not an elite wide receiver (and questionable team WR1 as well) but all that could change with the upside with the Ravens.

Chris Smith - Evans has been a very good fantasy contributor on a very poor team over the years in Buffalo. Now he will head to the Ravens and find himself in a better offensive scheme. He has a real chance to put up surprising numbers for Baltimore and should definitely climb into the top-150, if not the top-75.

Jason Wood - I've spent the last few seasons downplaying Evans and warning people against expecting a resurgence. Yet, I feel like the hate may have gone too far now that he's been traded to the Baltimore Ravens. Evans fills a major hole in the Ravens offense, and should start from Day One. Joe Flacco has his critics, but he's been a 60% passer and has a big arm, which should work wonders for Evans' -- whose best skill is his ability to get vertical. I still don't think Evans is going to return to top 25 form ever again, but I could see him being a top 40 player and helping fantasy owners who need a bye week fill in during a few key weeks.

Arrelious Benn - TB 6 votes

Sigmund Bloom - Dezmon Briscoe deserves a mention here as he is getting praised for his development and he looks good with Josh Freeman. Benn is the player with the higher upside, and as long as he is fully recovered from an ACL tear in week 16, and Benn is the player who will get to start if both are healthy. With Mike Williams getting the focus of the opposition, whoever lines up on the other side of the field should have a chance for a breakout season in Tampa.

Will Grant - Mike Williams was the big star from Tampa last season, but Benn also came on strong at the end of the season. Kellen Winslow will also draw attention, but he's on the downside of his career. Benn could really see an improvement in his performance this season and he's being overlooked in many fantasy drafts. Grab him as your WR4 and enjoy the benefits of a guy who could turn into a solid WR2.

Dave Larkin - Arrelious Benn will be a forgotten man in most drafts this summer. Benn tore his ACL late in the 2010 season and the Buccaneers recently announced that they would probably sit him for preseason. Make sure you don't forget Benn, who has an opportunity to break out this season in a young Bucs team with exciting quarterback Josh Freeman. He was just beginning to make his mark in the offense before his injury. While it may take some time for Benn to become confident with his knee again, he is a player worth keeping a close eye on as the season approaches.

Jeff Pasquino - Tampa Bay has everything in place for a young wide receiver to come in and excel -- a strong WR1 (Mike Williams), a good tight end (Kellen Winslow), a solid quarterback with Josh Freeman and even a decent ground game with LeGarrette Blount. Blount also adds value to a WR2 as he does not catch the ball well out of the backfield. Benn -- if he can get healthy -- stands to be the beneficiary of being single covered by the second best corner from the opposing defense and has a great shot at approaching 90 targets in 2011. Benn offers solid WR3 / flex upside for fantasy purposes.

Chris Smith - The Buccaneers passing game is set to take off in a big way and leading the charge will be the pair of 2nd-year receivers, Arrelious Benn and Mike Williams. Benn has great size and and could become a true fantasy weapon in 2011.

Jason Wood - Benn was overshadowed by fellow rookie Mike Williams last year, but fantasy owners have been way too quick to dismiss his potential. Benn was a 2nd round pick (higher than Williams) and was considered a polished, physical receiver coming out of Illinois. At 6'2", 225 pounds, Benn has the potential to dominate opposing defensive backs, particularly in the red zone. Nagging injuries and a slow start in camp really hurt his potential as a rookie, but all bets are off this year. With Josh Freeman emerging as a great young franchise passer, Benn can easily take a major leap forward this year.

Greg Little - CLE 6 votes

Sigmund Bloom - Someone has to catch the ball in Cleveland, right? The Browns are installing a west coast offense based on quick passing, which plays right into Little's strength - literally. He is a former RB who can outmuscle DBs in small spaces for the ball in flight and then run over them after the catch a la Brandon Marshall or Anquan Boldin. Little could be not ready for prime time, but if he is, he can easily lead this team in receptions.

Jene Bramel - Little isn't yet running with the first team in Cleveland and has struggled with consistency early in camp. But he's the most talented WR on the team. Talented enough that the team has been using him in the slot. When, not if, he beats out Brian Robiskie or Josh Cribbs for full time snaps, he could see enough targets to be a flex WR at worst. He's a middling WR5 at this ADP, representing tons of upside.

Will Grant - Yes, rookie WRs are typically not the guys that you want to draft for your redraft team. However, Little is a guy you want to have. The Cleveland WR corps is flat out putrid, and Little could be the star of the show by the middle of the season. Their offense is going to struggle, meaning the Browns will be playing from behind. If little is their 'go to' guy, those garbage time numbers could really benefit your fantasy stats.

Jeff Haseley - The Browns have had troubles finding a true WR1 in recent years, but Greg Little has the ability to earn that role this year. Putting his talent and ability aside, the Browns don't have much competition there to begin with. If he can pick up the offense and suffer no rookie jitters, he could be a major asset to the team and therefore have good value as a WR3 or flex option.

Steve Holloway - Little is a powerful receiver in the mold of Anquan Boldin and should be a perfect fit for the Brown's newly installed West Coast offense. Quite simply, the Browns lack quality receivers and he should be starting sooner rather than later. If he proves to be a quality yards after the catch guy, he will get a lot of opportunities to turn short passes into longer gains. His current ADP of WR 52 and 151 overall doesn't approach his potential as a starter. The lack of Cleveland's receiving options also matches the conditions that resulted in Boldin's explosive rookie season in Arizona.

Matt Waldman - I go back and forth between Little, Jordon Shipley, and Denarius Moore for this final spot. I've settled on Little because Cleveland needs him to start. He's also a big-time physical talent who I expect to get better every game as he acclimates to the NFL. Shipley could earn a ton of receptions with A.J. Green occupying double coverage and Moore is looking great in camp. But Little is most the likely primary option.

Denarius Moore - OAK 5 votes

Sigmund Bloom - Moore has been called the best player at any position in Raiders camp by some observers. He has generated buzz just about every day in practice and he has the early career trajectory of a surprise superstar. Perhaps he is just a practice stud or flash in the pan, but late in your draft Moore is exactly the kind of player you should take a chance on. The Raiders WR corps is riddled with disappointments and injuries, which leaves the door wide open for Moore to carry his momentum over to the regular season.

David Dodds - Every year there is at least one player turning everyone's head in camp. This year, that player is Denarius Moore. Playing for Oakland has kept him under the radar for now. It might not last much longer.

Ryan Hester - The biggest camp sensation of the offseason is Raiders rookie Denarius Moore. Every day, Raiders head coach Hue Jackson has sparkling things to say about Moore. Fantasy football is a mix of skill (Moore clearly has it based on those reports) and opportunity. Opportunity can come in the form of belief from coaches and limited positional competition. Currently, the only wide receivers ahead of Moore on the depth chart are an injured Louis Murphy and a nearly-full-blown-bust Darrius Heyward-Bey. This is a player whose opportunity will come a lot sooner than the average 5th-round draft pick.

Greg Russell - Taken 148th overall in the NFL draft, Denarius Moore was not high on the radar of even dynasty players. Consistently glowing reviews from both coaches and the media for his play in camp, however, have chagned that. Fantasy football owners need to weed through preseason hype, but there isn't much better indication than near daily word that a rookie was the best player in camp. Moore does not face much competition at the position with Chaz Schilens already suffering his annual injury and starter Jacoby Ford nursing a broken hand. Though rookie receivers don't often perform in a fantasy significant manner, Moore is a player you can take a gamble on at the end of the draft and see how he performs the first few weeks of the season.

Mark Wimer - Moore has been the talk of the Raiders' training camp. With injuries hobbling Darrius Heyward-Bey and Jacoby Ford early in August, Moore has had the opportunity to show his stuff. By all accounts, Moore has shined so far and he may crack the starting lineup come September. He's worth a roll of the dice late in your draft.

Andre Roberts - ARI 5 votes

David Dodds - The Cardinals let Steve Breaston move on, because they absolutely love the skills of Andre Roberts. He has emerged as WR2 for the Cardinals and is just 23 years old. He had his break-through game in week 16 last year catching 5 passes for 110 yards and a score.

Will Grant - With Kevin Kolb under the helm now, you can expect some improvement in the Arizona passing attack. Larry Fitzgerald is the guy that everyone will be looking to stop and Kolb will certainly throw a lot of action in his direction. However, the #2 guy is also going to see a lot of action, especially since he'll be facing weaker defensive backs. Robets could be that guy by the time the season starts. He was a guy that many dynasty owners were watching in last year's draft before he landed in Arizona with the crap shoot at QB that they had. Grab him as a late round flyer and see if he emerges as a solid fantasy WR this year.

Ryan Hester - If he can secure the job of #2 receiver behind Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Roberts will be perhaps the most unheralded starting wide receiver in the league. A second-year player from a small school, Roberts could be making The Citadel proud as a huge fantasy surprise this year. In a Week 16 game against Dallas last season, Roberts caught five passes for 110 yards and a touchdown on a team-leading nine targets (the next-highest players had just three). That game occurred with John Skelton at quarterback. As much as people may think the Cardinals overpaid for Kevin Kolb, he's still a vast improvement over Skelton and the rest of Arizona's QBs last season. Look for Roberts to have some big games this year against single coverage as Larry Fitzgerald will command double teams every week.

Matt Waldman - Roberts has speed, excellent hands, and a knack for catching the ball in traffic despite his smaller stature. His best asset might be after he catches the football. His game took a leap forward at the end of the season and the Cardinals coaching staff says Roberts' game is night and day different from this time last year. He's the No.2 receiver on the depth chart and between Larry Fitzgerald and Todd Heap, Roberts is going to see a lot of single coverage. He's one of my favorite deep sleepers in this year's draft.

Jason Wood - Andre Roberts played college ball at Citadel, and therefore wasn't a household name. Our own draft pundit Matt Waldman loved what he saw of Roberts on film, comparing him to Greg Jennings and noted that "what sets him apart is his refinement as a route-runner." With Kevin Kolb now in the fold, and Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston moving on, Roberts need only overtake Early Doucet to earn a starting role opposite Larry Fitzgerald. Simply put, Roberts is on my short list for young players that will "come out of nowhere" and be a capable fantasy commodity in 2011.

Devin Hester - CHI 2 votes

Jeff Haseley - I originally downgraded Hester, due to the recent signing of Roy Williams, however if Lovie Smith says he is going to be a huge part of the offense this year, I have to listen to that. Aside from that, he is performing extremely well in training camp. Hester is a quick strike receiver, who can also be a deep threat. Mike Martz's offense has always found room for that type of receiver. See Az Hakim, Kevin Curtis and Shaun McDonald. Top 30 may be his ceiling, but he's a good late round pick.

Bob Magaw - With Johnny Knox's demotion due to the insertion of newly acquired DAL bust Roy Williams, and the trading away of talented but criminally underused TE Greg Olsen, Hester looks primed for a career year. Entering the league as a player without a position, initially as a DB and return specialist extraordinaire, he was making rapid strides as a WR, with Jay Cutler looking his way often, posting a career best campaign in 2009 (57-757-3 season in just 13 games). He had a setback last season, having to learn Mike Martz's complex passing attack (the playbooks are the size of major metropolitan area phone books). Coaches and players have been raving about his newfound grasp and mastery of the scheme, allowing him to play faster, and enabling him to even more efficiently unleash the Madden 100 speed rating wheels, in what could be an ominous development for opposing secondaries.

Jason Hill - JAX 2 votes

Matt Waldman - Hill has a troubling habit of lackluster training camp performances, but he shows skill on game day. He's slated to start for the Jaguars this year and serve as the primary deep threat. Keep a close eye on him during training camp, but as long as Hill begins the season as the starter I think he'll show up as an emerging Ochocinco-like threat in the intermediate and deep range of the field.

Mark Wimer - Hill will likely start for the Jaguars, and they are sorely in need of a credible set of starting wide receivers. Hill led the team in receiving vs. New England in preseason week one, with 3/37/0, and he'll have every opportunity to start for Jacksonville this year. He's another guy worth rolling the dice on to stock the wide receivers' bench. There is upside potential here.

Derrick Mason - NYJ 2 votes

Steve Holloway - Mason had been very effective for the Ravens, particularly for the past four years as he averaged 79 catches per year and scored 24 TDs. He enters the 2011 season on a new team, but at 37 years of age his role as a possession receiver fits precisely in his comfort zone. The Jets dismissed Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery from last year's team and replaced them with Plaxico Burrress and Mason. Despite his age, Mason should be an improvement over Cotchery, who caught 41 passes a year ago in only 14 games. Mason offers excellent depth on your fantasy roster as he is currently being drafted as WR 59 and 166 overall.

Jeff Tefertiller - Mason joins the New York Jets' conservative offense for a chance to win a Super Bowl. Plaxico Burress has already been on the shelf with an ankle injury. Mason makes a great flex receiver, especially in PPR leagues. He could easily see 100 pass targets, and score in the Top 30 fantasy receivers. Jet opponents will double team Santonio Holmes, leaving Mason room to roam the middle of the field.

Emmanuel Sanders - PIT 2 votes

Jeff Pasquino - Pittsburgh has been looking for another wide receiver to take over for Hines Ward, and Sanders was starting to do just that towards the end of 2010. Sanders also has bigger play upside and more speed than Ward, and Ward cannot last forever. Sanders is struggling to get healthy but is on pace to be ready for Week 1, further lowering his ADP and making him a great fifth or sixth wideout to draft late with much higher upside in the Steeler passing attack.

Jeff Tefertiller - Sanders is just now coming back from a foot injury. He is a big-play receiver with big upside who is available LATE in drafts. With the expedited decline of Hines Ward, Sanders could have a break out season while defenses are focused on Mike Wallace. He showed plenty of promise as a rookie last year and could explode onto the scene in a HUGE way.

Jerome Simpson - CIN 2 votes

Jeff Tefertiller - Simpson ended the season on a terrific two-game streak that many players only dream about. The Bengal quarterback situation lacks upside, but Simpson should be able to see his share of pass targets. Cincinnati only has Simpson and rookie A.J. Green at the wide receiver position. Both could enjoy good seasons, but everyone is talking about the rookie ... and not Simpson. His draft stock is very low.

Jason Wood - Chad Ochocinco is gone. Terrell Owens is gone. Long live Jerome Simpson? Sure, A.J. Green is the best receiver on the roster, but Simpson is going to start on the other side -- and is no slouch. Late in the 2010 season, Simpson FINALLY got his chance to start -- and dominated. He dropped 6 receptions for 124 yards and 2 TDs against the San Diego Chargers, and followed that up with 12 receptions for 123 yards and a TD against the Baltimore Ravens. Those aren't cupcake defenses, and Simpson was a beast. Were it not for the questionable QB situation (Bruce Gradkowski and rookie Andy Dalton), I would be pushing even harder for Simpson. But in terms of late round fliers with his upside, there aren't many better than the 4th year man out of Coastal Carolina.

Roy Williams - CHI 2 votes

Jeff Pasquino - Those who are not paying attention this year will remember Roy Williams as the semi-bust wide receiver in Dallas, but now he is reunited with Mike Martz (they were both in Detroit in 2006 and 2007) in Chicago. Williams is being touted as the top target for the Bears going forward, a significant role in a Martzian offense. Williams offers quite a bit of upside catching passes from Jay Cutler this year. He may not get back to fantasy WR1 or WR2 status, but a respectable WR3 is possible -- a nice payoff for a wideout currently available late in most drafts.

Chris Smith - Who really knows which Roy Williams will show up in Chicago. He had his shining moment in 2006 when he finished as the 10th best fantasy receiver. Since then he has done very little to inspire confidence. However he fits into this offensive scheme nicely and appears to have a real chance to be the go-to guy. At just 29 years of age, he may surprise with a very strong season.

Earl Bennett - CHI 1 vote

Mark Wimer - Bennett and Jay Cutler have a lot of history, all the way back to their college days at Vanderbilt. Bennett was second among the wide receivers on the team last year with 46 receptions for 561 yards and three TDs. Here in year two of the Martz experiment he is locked in as the clear-cut slot receiver for Chicago. In Martz's offense, the slot receiver is essentially a starting position - Bennett could wildly outperform expectations this season if everything starts clicking for the Bears' passing attack.

Randall Cobb - GB 1 vote

Matt Waldman - My No. 3 receiver in the 2011 Rookie Scouting Portfolio, Cobb is making a great play at least once a session in Packers camp. He has learned all three receiver positions. He can return kicks. He can even throw the ball reasonably well. He also blocks with the same ferocity that I saw from Santonio Holmes in college. I know the Packers situation is crowded, but I Cobb is too talented to ignore this late.

Eric Decker - DEN 1 vote

Steve Holloway - Decker had an uneventful rookie season, but was drafted in the third round and thought of highly coming out of Minnesota. His stock rose a year ago on reports of excellent workouts in Larry Fitzgerald's camp. He is a hidden gem playing in Denver, where most have dismissed all receivers except Brandon Lloyd. This thinking is based on Coach Fox's history of leaning heavily on the rushing game. However, Denver kept their offensive coordinator and it looks like Orton will be starting at QB. The early practices have been strong for Decker while Thomas and Royal have been sitting out for injuries. Currently ranked at ADP of WR 88 and 288 overall, you can probably draft this potential starter with your last pick of the draft.

Legedu Naanee - CAR 1 vote

Mark Wimer - The ACL injury to David Gettis blew open the race for Carolina's #2 wide receiver slot wide open. Naanee has the advantage of being very familiar with OC Rob Chudzinski's offense, and he got into camp early enough to work with Cam Newton throughout the available practices. Naanee could put up solid fantasy WR #3 numbers in Carolina if everything breaks right for him during the rest of training camp.

Eddie Royal - DEN 1 vote

Jeff Haseley - The injury to Demaryius Thomas (Achilles) and subsequent recovery, will allow Eddie Royal to see more time at WR this year. I expect him to be more involved in the offense and the fact that Kyle Orton is starting at QB and not Tim Tebow, increases Royal's value due to Orton's down field tendencies. Royal can and likely will line up in the slot, but also at split end from time to time. His ADP of 211 (WR65) is too low in my opinion for a WR2 on a team with capable QB.

Jordan Shipley - CIN 1 vote

Jene Bramel - Shipley had 52 catches and 600 yards in his rookie season, finishing as the WR57. He had five or more catches in five games last year. The Bengals are now running the West Coast offense, an offense in which Shipley will get at least as many looks out of the slot as he did as a rookie. Shipley certainly doesn't belong among the top 40 wide receivers, but he'll absolutely have flex WR potential against the right matchups this year in PPR leagues this year.

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